Manchester City’s outcast centre-back Kolo Toure has spoken of his desire to transfer from the Citizens to a club in France.
Despite playing for the same club as younger brother Yaya, Kolo is unhappy with the limited playing time on offer from Roberto Mancini and has identified French football as his next career target.
The 31-year-old former Arsenal stalwart was signed for City by ex-boss Mark Hughes for £16m just over three years ago, but the big-money move never quite went to plan.
Despite initially becoming a regular part of the defence under Hughes and then Mancini, a six-month ban for failing a drugs test in 2011 left him out in the cold for club and country.
Toure insisted he had made an innocent mistake in taking some of his wife’s slimming pills, but the damage was done and his relationship with Mancini became increasingly strained.
Since his return to the game, question marks have continued over Toure’s fitness and physique, as well as his ability to still cope at the very highest level.
Despite a sometimes over-reliance upon his brother Yaya at Eastlands, Mancini no longer considers elder brother Kolo as part of his plans.
This season Toure senior has been involved in just four of City’s match-day squads, making two starts for the club out of a possible 14.
One of those starts was in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool, where eyebrows were raised over his selection ahead of Joleon Lescott, so out-of-sorts was the weight-battling defender against the Reds.
With Micah Richards’ injury not looking as bad as first feared, and club captain Vincent Kompany, Lescott and new-signing Matija Nastasić all ahead of Toure in the defensive pecking-order, a transfer does look credible.
And the former captain of the Premier League champions now seems unwilling to fight for his spot at City, instead suggesting that a switch to the emerging French top flight is imminent.
“Why not France?” said Toure when questions over his future were raised. “There is PSG, Lille and the league is getting stronger.”
This week has seen quite the French connection at City, with Toure’s comments coming before Mancini admitted he held talks with Monaco about becoming their manager last season.
That deal never materialised and Mancini stayed in Manchester to win a maiden Premier League title for City, but with the January transfer window approaching it looks like Kolo Toure is set to follow through on a move to France.
Any departure from England would end Toure’s 10-year spell in English football, in which time he won two Premier League titles and three F.A. Cups from his time at both Arsenal and City.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.